The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
In 1975, Congress enacted a landmark bill on behalf of persons with disabilities: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA provides that all children with disabilities have a federally-protected right to a free appropriate public education that meets their schooling and related needs in the least restrictive environment, in regular classes, in the school the student would attend if not disabled.
Prior to IDEA, the special education needs of more than eight million students with disabilities were not being met. For example, some students were entirely excluded from school, while others failed to receive an appropriate education. Many of those who did receive educational services were educated far away from their local schools.
Under IDEA, students with disabilities are entitled to support services and devices (such as assistive listening systems, Braille textbooks, talking computers, and speech synthesizers) as needed to facilitate their learning in classrooms alongside nondisabled students. IDEA has significantly improved the quality of the public education received by millions of American children with disabilities.